Mid-State Orange – Flag Festival EP

Mid-State Orange
Flag Festival EP

Mid-State Orange is a five-piece band coming from Australia that makes sparkling, bouncy pop songs with smattering of country sounds mixed in. They meld many elements to try to bring back the happy psych bubble-gum pop of the 60s, much like most of the Elephant 6 Collective groups. The music is normally carried along by some nice keyboard work and occasional distorted guitar solos. Sometimes they switch the poppy formula around and add in some alt-country twang to spice it up a bit.
“Flag Festival” comes bouncing happily out of the gate with chiming guitars and chirping keyboards. The song has a nice laid-back joyous feel to it helped by the somewhat flat lead vocals. It also includes some nice lyrics and the occasional keyboard solo and fuzzy guitar breaks that are executed nicely. “The Boy Who Dropped His Omelette” is a little reminiscent of Stereolab with its soft melody and sugary vocals. There is a very good slide guitar break towards the end that practically makes the whole song.
“So Hard” is the highlight of this disc; it has a wonderful bouncy 60’s pop melody with a folk-country spin. They mix both sounds perfectly, and it has an incredible affect on the listener, definitely getting stuck in your head. The vocal performances are wonderful as well and the song is a special treat. “Flag 2” closes the disc, and this is another performance of the first song, but with added effects. The song changes with some effects drenched vocals and swirling keyboard sounds, though nice it is a little inconsequential.
Mid-State Orange try to recreate melodies from the past, and they do a pretty decent job on this recording. But they really shine when they add something new. This EP is alone worth it for the incredible “So Hard” that will make you warm all over after hearing it. The rest of the recording is full of jingly pop tunes, that are nice as well. Some of the other songs on this EP lack originality but still are all very solid and fun to listen to. Sometimes one great song can overshadow some other ones that are very good as well, and that happens here. This is a good recording with an excellent song in “So Hard” and many enjoyable melodies in the others.